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Delivering the Goods in a Non-Fluctuating Mode - 85%

bayern, June 29th, 2018

Getting a hold of the band’s first two efforts some time in the late-90’s was a memorable day for me; I spent several days with them, also wondering why I had missed out on this talented retro speed/thrashing bunch earlier… Then “What a Joke” came into my possession a year later, but since it was a fuckin’ joke (a most tale-telling title, by the way), stripped-down simplistic hardcore-ish barrage for a lack of a better description, it made me lose interest in tracking down the guys’ other efforts.

With “Stay of Execution” (1992) the band entered the modern groovy/alternative/doomy/post-thrashy cycle head-over-heels, an approach that kept them spell-bound all the way to 2007 when “As Above-So Below“ brought some of their old school speed/thrashing vigour, but in a more testing-the-soil-like, timid-ish way. “Hear What I Say!” was a better more classic-prone effort, intended as a farewell stunt as a matter of fact, but the guys were back on the road again five years later with the album reviewed here which can easily be considered their finest hour since the sophomore.

The bouncy friendly grooves of "Bring'Em Down" at the start would hardly bring anyone down let alone fill the band fanbase with hopes for a total retro recall, but once the ripping thrashcorer "Concept of the Other" and the headbanging old school thrasher "Center of It All" enter the scene, things nearly hit the roof, what with wayward thrashing delights like "The Black Hand" freely roaming around, cancelling the few one-dimensional groovy advocates (“Epilogue”) with their intimidating impetuousness. There aren’t that many of the latter kind provided here, mind you, and one won’t help but listen more closely to the lively psychedelic thrasher “Listen Closely", or jump like crazy on the shattering title-track and the excellent speed/thrashing roller-coaster "The Fold".

Yeah, the band have woken up from their ill-advised modern-ish or what-have-you stupor, and although this is hardly the most “subversive” opus out there having in mind the still legitimate old school revival movement, it’s always good to hear an old-timer re-visiting their roots in a fresher, non-repetitive manner by aptly avoiding most of the pitfalls along the way. Cause if this is a new beginning of some sorts then the audience should start lining up; there isn’t any warfare on the horizon at the moment, but it wouldn’t hurt and stay on the safe side by arming yourself with a number of classic, tried-and-tested “weapons”…